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Progressive technology could see a rise in AR glasses and decline in smartphones.
AR glasses are expected to be the next most trending pieces of tech in infotainment over the next decade.
The nature of AR technology gives us the ability to experience and create exciting new opportunities, dramatically impacting the way we interact and communicate with one another, giving birth to new applications and hardware. Still, one of the main issues for tech giants to consider before AR glasses are adopted and accepted widely is that they should be unobtrusive and work perfectly without default.
Why? Because currently, there are numerous devices that can support AR, such as our smartphones. Therefore, for AR glasses to rocket in sales, they will need to function with the same specifications and speed as our current technology, if not better, to win us over. Past attempts have been unsuccessful, such as Google Glass, due to reluctance and concerns over ethical issues such as privacy and security of AR glasses.
Fast-forward a few years from the failing Google Glass, and now it turns out the popularity of smart-glasses has increased again, thanks to numerous new developments. On an enterprise level, AR glasses are now being used in factory and manufacturing settings, enabling remote assistance and improving workflow. But, is there a market for them at the consumer level?
Many major tech organizations such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are currently working on different types of smart glasses or headsets which are more affordable and widely available to consumers, which will eventually change how we view and interact with the world around us. The future could, in fact, transition from a smartphone-focused world to a smart glasses-focused world, using apps and talking with others by directly speaking and looking through glasses.
With its potential to be the next most significant technological advancement, the race to become the first to create affordable AR glasses is imminent and the successor will create glasses that are sleek and fashionable enough to wear daily. With this in mind, here are a few reasons why AR glasses could replace the smartphone in this decade.
AR Glasses Aid in Increased Natural Human Experiences
A trend such as AR glasses and scenarios which create its adoption in infotainment give us future insight into how this new technology can translate. Infotainment can be described as the way we interact with electronics on a personal level and in numerous industries and domains such as entertainment, healthcare, education and general communication. Dominant designs in infotainment systems such as digital cameras, and audio home controls such as Alexa and Siri in smartphones, have indicated a shift. The gradual sequence of trends suggests an ongoing demand for increased mobility. This means that the interface between tech today and human beings has decreased massively. We can now use our technology without even touching it. AR glasses will give its users the potential to use and interact with them in a way we currently can’t with smartphones.
Augmented reality allows us to not only see virtual objects in our real world, but interact with them without needing to hold a device. For example, you will be able to place furniture around the house through the use of AR glasses before even buying it. This could at large, not just transform industries but even social media platforms. It will give us the ability to carry out tasks without needing to touch our phones such as get on the go directions and have a virtual assistant wherever we go, all controlled by voice commands to our glasses. AR glasses may give birth to new types of advertising and change the landscape of consumer behavior with virtual AR pop-up adverts.
On the contrary to the above statement, future infotainment systems will allow us to experience the virtual world as if though it was real, a popular notion. The electronics that do this will enable us to interact intuitively with virtual objects. Doing so will mean we will be using all our senses, even smell and taste which wouldn’t go amiss when it comes to our current technology. The possibilities of being able to do this and more are what will drive the next-generation infotainment platform such as AR glasses. Their capabilities and possibilities offer more than our current smartphones.
Virtual Objects and Overlaying Them
AR glasses will allow us to enhance our perception of the real world as they overlay contextual information and/or virtual objects in our real-world settings. They will create tremendous possibilities in numerous industries and will change the way we not only communicate but also collaborate. As technology confirms today, in the years to come, the performance and specifications of AR glasses will gradually improve to become trending tech products. AR glasses do have the potential to become a new platform competing against smartphones and replacing them. The healthcare industry can benefit largely from technology like augmented reality, speeding up diagnosis and assisting surgeons in operations.
Future Developments for AR Glasses
Apple is planning on diving into the AR market in 2022 with a speculated launch of its very first AR headset. Currently, Apple’s iOS platform consists of many AR apps which are already supported on its devices such as its iPhones and iPads, making the technology accessible for all and proving its usability to its audience. Due to the extensive offering of these AR apps, not only does it indicate a shift in the pattern, but also where the company’s future focus might be. Apple has acquired many AR-related firms which stipulates AR glasses might be the next big thing from them.
Without hesitation, Facebook has already tipped that it has an AR wearable in the works and that they identify that Facebook’s immersive future will rely heavily on AR technology. The social media juggernaut has partnered with Ray-Ban’s parent company Luxottica to develop AR glasses. Internally referred to as Orion, the glasses are scheduled to launch between 2023 and 2025 and are designed to take calls and let users stream videos between themselves.
Facebook’s communication platforms could easily translate to a pair of glasses where users will be able to use Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to call or talk to one another. Currently, Facebook has an AR developer tool called Spark AR, which is used for face tracking. However, it has enormous potential to be implemented in glasses and thanks to Facebook’s billions of active users, they could beat their competition and sell AR glasses at an affordable price.
Gaming With AR Technology to Go Beyond the Realm of Smartphones
Thanks to Niantic, AR gaming has taken off, and they are now developing a pair of AR glasses which is specially designed with gaming in mind. The Pokémon Go phenomenon has been one of the biggest successes for AR gaming on a smartphone, and with this in mind, the AR glasses will be a crucial enabler for hands-free gaming on the move, as so will begin the extinction of the smartphone. Although it’s still quite early to predict what the outcome will be, the hope that something spectacular is on the horizon is surely exciting.
To Infinity and Beyond AR Glasses
The need and want to keep inventing and changing the landscape of technology means that it’s not long before a new device is launched, which outwits its competition. Due to this, AR glasses may not receive the full level of concentration and support they need to fulfill their potential like smartphones, but will undoubtedly start replacing them. One of the major drawbacks when it comes to AR glasses is design. Creating visually appealing glasses integrated with hardware is quite a challenge. The dream would be to buy a standard pair of glasses which could turn into smart ones at the click of a button, without having to compromise too much.
Despite the thoughts of future technology going beyond AR glasses, such as implemented mind computer chips, the potential of AR glasses and their ability to work flexibly, following the direction consumers’ trends are gravitating towards, indicates the threat they pose to our beloved smartphones. Without trying too hard, AR glasses will be able to offer us much more than our current tech. By incorporating these exact technologies with better support, augmented reality has the strength to bring on the extinction of the smartphone and the revolution we’ve all been waiting for.
Yasmita Kumar for ARPost